Media and Society: Deconstructing the Role of the Media in Fostering Social Cohesion in Contemporary Nigerian Society

Kizito Ogedi Alakwe, Silk Ugwu Ogbu


With an aggregation of over 200 ethnic groups, Nigeria is bedevilled with issues arising from social conflicts, marginalisation, fragmentation and ethnic rivalry. From the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, the militancy in the South-South, the rampaging ‘herdsmen’ in the North Central to the secessionist agitations in the South East, the threat to national integration has become grave and increasingly worrisome.  The erosion of national identity, the increase in structural inequalities and the rise in individualism are phenomena that have continued to disparage the modest achievements of the modern Nigeria state. Leveraging on its social responsibility roles in society, the media is expected to promote unity and the convergence of diverse ethnic interests. This expectation rests upon the assumption that the media as an institution is believed to have become one of the greatest influencers in contemporary societies. However, this is not always the case. Controlled by their owners and some pseudo-bourgeoisies, the media sometimes instigate social conflicts through the framing of news and contents in ways that project sectional interests and bias. Through analysis of extant literature, this paper focuses on unravelling the causal factors in social cohesion and the critical role of the media both in instigating conflict and also in engendering social cohesion in Nigeria.

Keywords: Social cohesion; Social conflicts, Marginalisation; Ethnic rivalry; Media and Society

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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